I have read so much on here that my eyes are crossing. I truly don't know what is wrong with my pool, and our dear friends are expecting to have their daughter's birthday party here in 3 days!
Here is the background:
I believe the pool was installed in 2000. When I bought the house, there was some staining because the pH had gotten out of whack and the heater shot rust into the pool. Over the years, the staining has gotten better.
I have a manual cover that malfunctioned last year, so the pool was not covered over the winter. Tons of leaves gathered in the pool. We also have a giant dog that delights in putting his front end on the steps.
I have dipped until I don't get much out in the way of leaves anymore. I thought this was going to be an easy start up. Clean cartridges, dip, brush, vac to waste, repeat, balance chemicals, swim. I got the cartridge cleaning and dipping done, started brushing and noticed that nothing was coming off the sides/bottom of the pool. I rubbed my hand over the wall, and rust colored stuff came off the pool and got on my hand but the staining remained (pics attached). I had a bazillion tadpoles, so I had to shock (4 gallons of 6% bleach). All the tadpoles are now gone.
From reading here, I felt like I had organic staining. I don't have a good test kit, so I took a sample to the local pool place. Here are the results:
She said that I needed to use baking soda to raise the TA, dip more, clean, use a product called Stain free, then shock it. I left her place just ahead of the storms and then it stormed for two days, so I did not attempt to do anything in that weather.
Yesterday, I dipped again to make sure that I got everything out. I cleaned my cartridges. They were filthy and clogged with cottony stuff from the willow trees. I had frogs again, so I put in 4 gallons of 6% bleach based upon the calculations from The Pool Calculator. I put in a bit more than the calculator recommended, because I was hoping to be able to see if that removed some of the rusty color. It did not. This morning, I also discovered a lovely leak in the intake area of the filter.
I used my AquaChek test strips this morning. I don't have the resources to get a better test kit yet. The test strips show the following results:
I have attached pictures of the pool, the red slimey stuff on my hands, and the leaky area. As I have stated earlier, our friends plan to have a party here on Tuesday, the 28th. YIKES! Can someone please help me?
Thank you for reading!